Monday, May 14, 2012

Labour doesn't lead

Tomorrow is the International Day of Families, which this year is focused on the issue of work-life balance. So naturally we have a press-release from Labour calling on community groups to get involved in the debate and push harder on this issue:

Speaking at church services this weekend Su’a William Sio called on church and community leaders to become involved with the debate on ‘work and family balance’ and to use the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as the foundation to build on.

“It is the community’s responsibility to take ownership of this debate and ensure it is focused on good and productive social and economic outcomes for families, communities and our country,” Su’a William Sio said.

Which is good, so far as it goes - democratic participation is important, after all. At the same time, I find myself thinking: shouldn't Labour be leading this debate? Isn't standing up for your core principles and those of your supporters something we expect political parties to do? And if Labour doesn't want to do that, if they just want to dump the job on others, why the hell are they in Parliament?

This is just another example of Labour's malaise, its underlying belief in its own helplessness at leading and defining the issues. But if Labour won't lead, then someone else will - and reap the benefits from doing so.